From next year tourists will not be allowed to climb Uluru in the Australian outback


From next year tourists will not be allowed to climb Uluru in the Australian outback, following years of campaigning by its owners, the Anangu Aborigines, who date their origins back 60,000 years and claim a deep spiritual link to the rock.

Sourced from WGAR News, provided by the Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)

'In a historic vote last year, the Uluru-Kata Tjuta board of 12 people - including 8 Anangu Elders - decided to end the climb.

Uluru: Reclaiming Creation Stories

The Anangu date their origins back 60,000 years and claim a deep and ancient link between the rock and their spirituality.

'Climbing has violated that,’ they say; ‘it's like tourists clambering over temples or sacred remains.’

For them the rock has played a big part in their ceremonies and rites of passage.

The BBC's Rebecca Henschke meets the Anangu to hear just how strong a role Uluru plays in their Dreamtime stories, passed on from their ancestors, which provide the basis for their spiritual lives and uncovers her own family connection to the rock.

'This rock means everything to us'

For decades the Anangu people have asked tourists not to climb Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, because of its sacred value. From next year, scaling the giant monolith will be banned.

Mr Wilson is a member of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Board, which jointly manages the national park.

In a historic vote last year, its board of 12 people - including eight Anangu elders - decided to end the climb.

'"I was there on that day, and there were tears in people's eyes. Not just Anangu, but people who have been here for many, many years," says Steve Baldwin, manager of the Uluru and Kata-Tjuta Park Operations and Visitor Service.

"Everyone felt so relieved that finally it's being closed," he adds.

Last year about 300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people came together at Uluru to demand real legal and political recognition and power as the first peoples of Australia.

The Australian government later rejected a proposal to form a body in parliament representing indigenous peoples.

The response drew criticism from Aboriginal leaders.

Video: Traditional Owners discuss decision to ban climbing of Uluru | ABC News

Traditional Owners say they chose October 2019 to coincide with 34th anniversary of Uluru Handback.

A year on, the key goal of Uluru Statement remains elusive

In 12months since it was signed by a gathering of about 300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at Uluru, the canvas bearing the official copy of the Uluru Statement From The Heart has travelled to five states and territories in Australia.

Torres Strait Islander man, Thomas Mayor, the custodian of the ‘Uluru Statement from the Heart’, is travelling the country sharing the message from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. He was interviewed by Alice Springs based Indigenous radio, CAAMA.

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